‘Oh, you’ll do it again. After competing for the first time, you’ll be hooked, unable to stop.’ A number of competitive bodybuilders delivered this sage prediction to me, when I was in the midst of dieting down and training for my show. They grinned knowingly and winked slyly. ‘Absolutely not,’ I insisted. ‘I am participating in the world of bodybuilding for research purposes only, and do not give a rat’s ass about performing on stage.’ I made such declarations in a defiant voice, filled with bravado, but I was never completely certain. Would I become a figure addict, repeatedly drawn to the allure of sparkly tits, slippery muscles, and a purse full of cold, cooked egg whites? Now that my competition has passed—has it already been three weeks?—I have my answer. No. I will not. I did not enjoy my moment under the bright lights, wearing hard plastic shoes that squeezed gel toe nails. At the same time, I relished being backstage, meeting a diverse range of other figure girls and hearing about their sense of accomplishment as they became ’stage ready’ despite obstacles that included recent car accidents, relationship breakdowns, and chronic illnesses. Perhaps that is why I volunteered to shine and sheen the athletes at the Alberta Bodybuilding Association Provincial Championships this past Saturday; I spent the day placing my plastic-gloved hands on the fine buttocks of numerous ladies and even a few men. I have to admit, however, that when a a couple of cheeky individuals challenged me to a pose down, I could not resist strutting my stuff down the cloth covered hallway at the Winspear, while bikini girls and ripped boys wearing stained thongs shouted the odds, betting on their favourites. I Iost every time. My main rivals were:
From Dowdy Ass-Kicking Feminist Photo essays are supposed to speak for themselves, as if the meanings of images are obvious and the same for each viewer. Well I think we all know what bullshit that is, especially after the Family … Continue reading →
Like a key chain at the fair when you don’t break any balloons.
Still exhilarated by my free gym pass—the charming man behind the Planet Fitness counter had refused my open wallet, defying the yellow pages quote of $20/day—I am standing under a sign that reads ‘Judgment Free Zone.’ A mere four days after my competition, and against the advice of QMR, I am ready to work out, heavy, hard core, American style. Last year I was reprimanded for sporting a tank top in an Ontario branch of this franchise, but here, in the good old US of A, my armpits breathe freely. No one tells Americans what to do with their appendages! Continue reading →
This is the phrase that my partner uttered as we climbed the steps of the Citadel theatre and saw the long line-up of fans waiting to see the pre-judging for the Northern Alberta Body Building Championship. I love my partner dearly, but despite a long history as a queer activist, she has a judgemental streak that sometimes isn’t pretty. I will admit that watching my dear friend FFG transform herself from an admittedly very fit gym rat to a muscled, tanned, bleached and otherwise buffed figure girl was at times a freaky process. Continue reading →
The Sunday morning after my competition I woke up happily thinking ‘I can be myself today.’ Then I ate and ate and ate. Mostly cookies. I began to transform back into a professor, becoming softer, bakier, more able to think. Continue reading →